HC Deb 30 January 2002 vol 379 c311W
24. Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the United Kingdom Government's quick-start demobilisation programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [29147]

Clare Short

During my visit to DRC in August last year, I pledged the UK's support for the disarmament. demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants. The DRC Government have not yet taken up this offer of assistance. They have, however, assembled 1,800 soldiers in the Kamina cantonment and we are working with the Congolese and Rwandan Governments to try to ensure that they are properly screened and, if appropriate, returned to Rwanda. We stand ready to provide any useful support we can to the process. We are also providing direct assistance to MONUC to enable peacekeeping forces to deploy in the east of DRC.